Power Sheds: How to Design and Build a Shed for Workshop Projects

Create a killer shop right in your own backyard that will make it even easier for you to achieve all your DIY goals.

By Oliver Harriett | Updated Sep 16, 2020 7:18 PM

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How to Build a Workshop in a Shed

Photo: lpshed.com

Every weekend warrior dreams of a convenient backyard structure that’s spacious enough not only for storing tools but also for hosting a work space. Such a shed can certainly be had, but building one is a project in itself—and you’ll want to get it right the first time. Doing so takes a little research, smart planning, and quality materials. Read on for solid advice from the folks at LP Outdoor Building Solutions, makers of innovative engineered wood products that marry form and function to bring your fantasy shed to fruition.

Step 1: Plan on plenty of space.
If you build a custom workshop, you’ll never again have to work in cramped quarters or contend with inadequate storage for your arsenal of tools. That said, don’t go overboard: You don’t want a shed that’s so big it overwhelms your property or wastes space. Ultimately, the size of your shed depends on the type of work you’ll be doing in it. To ensure you have adequate elbow room (not to mention a place for each tool), determine the footprint of each piece of equipment you’ll be storing, and map it out on a scaled drawing. Or, even easier, use LP’s Size Selector to tick off each item you own from a checklist, then watch the calculator adjust its recommendations for the ideal shed size for your yard, your purposes, and for all your stuff.

How to Build a Workshop in a Shed

Photo: lpshed.com

Step 2: Choose durable products.
A backyard workshop needs more than just a pretty face, so choose hardworking materials that deliver both durability and good looks. You can rest assured that quality is the priority for every LP shed product. Start from the bottom up with LP ProStruct® Flooring with SmartFinish®. It boasts Treated Wood Strand Technology; a beautiful, durable overlay for a premium appearance; and LP’s SmartGuard® process to help it resist fungal decay and termite damage. What’s more, your floor will be easier to wipe clean—a huge plus in a busy workshop.

Step 3: Light it right.
Good lighting is a workshop essential. If you don’t have ace wiring skills and lack the budget to hire an electrician, a generator or battery-operated power source—perhaps even solar lighting—may be your best option for illumination. The actual design of the shed can help too. Strategically placed windows will invite more natural light into your workshop, and highly reflective surfaces, such as LP ProStruct® Roof Sheathing with SilverTech®, will brighten the inside of your shed for enhanced visibility.

Step 4: Create comfort in any season.
Enthusiastic do-it-yourselfers will benefit from a shop that’s well ventilated and sufficiently well insulated for year-round use. Simply incorporating a healthy number of doors and windows will ensure adequate air circulation whenever it’s needed. As well, installing vents on the roof or gable wall can encourage hot air to move out. Additionally, LP ProStruct® Roof Sheathing with SilverTech® and LP SmartSide® Panels with SilverTech® both feature a reflective radiant barrier to reduce solar heat gain and help keep your shed cooler in warm weather. If you opt for insulation in walls and ceilings, you’ll be able to both stave off summer’s heat and keep out winter’s cold. Finally, just as in your house, you can seal up gaps with weatherstripping—it’s one of the simplest, most cost-effective ways to keep temperatures comfortable when you’re working in your shed during the colder months.

Step 5: Trick out the interior.
Customize the shed with built-in work surfaces and storage to suit the types of projects you take on most often. Start with a sturdy built-in workbench that’s large enough to handle your projects and hold a variety of tools and supplies. To prevent all your tools from cluttering the work surface, plan on incorporating wall shelving and pegboard with hooks. Pro tip: Tools should be kept at easily accessible heights so you can reach for what you need without interrupting your work.

Step 6: Add a ramp.
Though sometimes neglected by eager beavers who just can’t wait to get started on projects, a ramp is a real workshop asset that makes it easier to move cumbersome tools into your shed and carry finished projects out. A quick online search will yield a variety of plans to build your own, or you can purchase a ready-made ramp and install it yourself. Once the ramp’s in place, you can start wheeling in your equipment and get to work setting up shop.


This content has been brought to you by LP Outdoor Building Solutions. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.